Treasury Sanctions Corrupt Zimbabwean Businessman
U.S. Department of the Treasury
August 5, 2020
Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Kudakwashe Regimond Tagwirei (Tagwirei) for providing support to the leadership of the Government of Zimbabwe, as well as Sakunda Holdings for being owned or controlled by Tagwirei. Today's action corresponds with the second anniversary of the Zimbabwean government's violent crackdown against its citizens who were protesting flawed government elections and the delayed results of the election, which resulted in the deaths of at least six civilians on August 1, 2018.
"Tagwirei and other Zimbabwean elites have derailed economic development and harmed the Zimbabwean people through corruption," said Deputy Secretary Justin G. Muzinich. "The United States supports the economic well-being of the Zimbabwean people and will target repressive and corrupt acts and graft by Zimbabwean politicians and their financiers."
KUDAKWASHE REGIMOND TAGWIREI and SAKUNDA HOLDINGS
Tagwirei is a Zimbabwean businessman with longstanding associations to the ruling party in Zimbabwe and high-level Government of Zimbabwe officials, including the current President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa (Mnangagwa), and First Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who were listed in the Annex to Executive Order (E.O.) 13288 in March 2003, and the Annex to E.O. 13391 in November 2005, and remain on OFAC's List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List). Tagwirei has utilized his relationships with high level Zimbabwean officials to gain state contracts and receive favored access to hard currency, including U.S. dollars. In turn, Tagwirei has provided high priced items, such as expensive cars, to senior-level Zimbabwean government officials. Since former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's 2017 departure, Tagwirei used a combination of opaque business dealings and his ongoing relationship with President Mnangagwa to grow his business empire dramatically and rake in millions of U.S. dollars.
Additionally, Tagwirei is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and founding director of Zimbabwe-based Sakunda Holdings. As CEO, Tagwirei is responsible for the overall strategy and direction of the company, as well as developing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders, including regulators and clients. Government audit reports prompted a 2019 parliamentary inquiry into whether public funds were misappropriated, revealing the government had failed to account for about $3 billion disbursed under the Command Agriculture program, a state farm subsidy championed by President Mnangagwa and largely financed by Sakunda Holdings.
Tagwirei was designated pursuant to E.O. 13469 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, the Government of Zimbabwe, any senior official thereof, or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13288, E.O. 13391, or E.O. 13469. Sakunda Holdings was designated pursuant to E.O. 13469 for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Tagwirei.
Additionally, OFAC concurrently removed sanctions on the recently-deceased John Bredenkamp (Bredenkamp) and 20 companies owned or controlled by Bredenkamp: Alpha International (Private) Ltd., Breco (Asia Pacific) Ltd., Breco (Eastern Europe) Ltd., Breco (South Africa) Ltd., Breco (U.K.) Ltd., Breco Group, Breco International, Breco Nominees Ltd., Breco Services Ltd., Corybantes Ltd., Echo Delta Holdings Ltd., Kababankola Mining Company, Masters International Ltd., Masters International, Inc., Piedmont (UK) Limited, Raceview Enterprises, Scottlee Holdings (Pvt) Ltd., Scottlee Resorts, Timpani Ltd., and Tremalt Ltd. This individual and these entities were previously designated under E.O. 13469 in 2008.
ZIMBABWE SANCTIONS PROGRAM
Beginning with E.O. 13288, "Blocking Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe," in March 2003, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has used its authorities to identify, disrupt the activities of, and promote accountability for persons who commit human rights abuses, engage in corruption, or undermine democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe. Treasury joins the U.S. Department of State in urging the Zimbabwean government to take meaningful steps towards creating a peaceful, prosperous, and politically vibrant Zimbabwe, rather than using public resources to blame Zimbabwe's ills on parties other than its corrupt elite and the institutions they abuse for their personal benefit. Today's actions continue to demonstrate the importance of Treasury's sanctions authorities and the United States' ongoing commitment to supporting a transparent and prosperous Zimbabwe.
Treasury's authorities in relation to Zimbabwe are publicly available, and Treasury strongly encourages those with questions on the reach or extent of those authorities, or the criteria for the listing or delisting of individuals or entities, to access Treasury's page dedicated to the Zimbabwe sanctions program.
As a result of Treasury's designation, all property and interests in property of this individual and entity that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC's regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated person.
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